I don’t love covering watch shows as they’re happening. There’s enough hype as is, with brands launching new, sometimes ugly watches. It’s best to reserve judgment, and sometimes those ugly watches aren’t so ugly after all. SIHH especially caters to the independent watchmakers and haute horologists of the community, making it sometime sinaccessible to everyday hobbyists. But, large conglomerates like Richemont also show up in style with their mass market offerings in tow.
It’s time to take stock of the watches released at SIHH 2019 and highlight some of the best every day watches that normal folk like you and me might actually buy.
Here are five great every day watches from SIHH 2019 that won’t break the budget.
IWC SPITFIRE AUTOMATIC
IWC teased its Spitfire collection before SIHH 2019 even began, but the standard Pilot’s Watch Automatic Spitfire is the standout of the collection. It’s an automatic watch with an in-house 32110 calibre movement featuring a 72-hour power reserve. It features a bronze case (so in right now) and a green dial, giving it a classic vintage look reminiscent of the airplanes the collection is named after. IWC also released a slightly more traditional colorway, with a stainless steel case and black dial.
It’s fairly priced at $4,900 for the bronze case, $4,300 for the steel case, unlike some other IWC watch we’ve seen released recently.
If you’re looking for something a little more complicated, the IWC Spitfire Chronograph is also delectable. It’s a 41mm chronograph with the same design language as the Automatic pictured above, and features an in-house 69380 calibre movement. It’s accessibly priced under $7,000, giving IWC lovers a great option for a legit in-house chronograph at an affordable price. Together, these two Spitfire watches might be the best everyday watches from this year’s SIHH festivities.
If you read our brief history of the Santos, you had to know this was going to be on the list. After releasing a new Santos in 2018, Cartier doubled down on the model known as the “first men’s wristwatch.” Sure, it released a Santos Chronograph which is nice, but what really got me excited was the Santos Dumont. Yes, it’s a quartz watch that starts at $3,650, but it’s just so classic. The numerals. The case. The crown. Every design detail just screams classic Cartier. While expensive, it’s about half the price of the 2018 mechanical Santos. Personally, I think of Cartier purchases as more akin to jewelry purchases. Yes, they’ve made great efforts to bring mechanical watch-making know how in-house, but the Paris-based brand is still a jewelry maison. Through that lens, perhaps $4,000 isn’t a terrible price for an item you’ll wear forever and pass dow to your children? Look, I’m just trying to help you justify your next purchase. Cartier has done something similar for the Tank, so it’s not surprising they’d introduce an entry-level quartz Santos as well. The Santos is a great everyday watch that dresses up as well as it dresses down, and the design has stood the test of time.
The Santos-Dumont comes in two sizes, 27.5mm and 31.4mm. The small stainless steel model runs $3,650, while the larger stainless steel will set you back $3,900. The model is also offered in a dressier rose gold.
For more, visit Cartier.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic
I’m on the Baume squad. Last year at SIHH they introduced the Clifton Baumatic, an impressive watch with an in-house movement that features a five-day power reserve, a ton of anti-magnetism, and came in COSC and non-COSC options. They iterated on the model this year, and while the Clifton Perpetual Calendar grabbed headlines (and rightly so — $24,500 for an in-house perpetual calendar is practically unheard of), the new Clifton Baumatic dial options caught my eye. It’s a deep blue color that B&M calls “Cadran Bleu,” and creates a nice gradiant that gets darker closer to the bezel. Like the movement, the specs of the case will be the same of last year’s Clifton Baumatic, which measured 40mm by 10.3mm.
The non-COSC version starts at $2,400.
For more, visit Baume & Mercier.
Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chronograph
Montblanc made more serious moves into the mechanical watch world at SIHH 2019, adding 6 new watches to its Heritage Collection. I could’ve featured any of these here, but the Monopusher Chronograph is my favorite. It’s a 42mm stainless steel case with a Minerva manufacture movement inside. It’s got anthracite-applied Arabic numerals and dot indices with blue steel hands for the chronograph features. The blue pulsometer on the edge of the dial completes the vintage look. The Montblanc Heritage Collection also debuted a time-only automatic, day-date, GMT, and perpetual calendar. All (okay, all except the perpetual calendar) are great everyday wear options. And if you’re really looking to splurge, there’s a limited edition rose gold, salmon dial chronograph that’s calling your name (for $28,000).
The Montblanc Heritage Monopusher Chronograph starts at $5,300 on a leather strap and tops out at $5,600 for the steel Milanese bracelet.
The A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”
Enough of the “affordable” every day watches. It’s still SIHH after all. There’s a lot of ridiculous shit there; topping the list this year may have been MB&F’s Medusa clock thing. If we’re talking grail pieces though, none is more lust worthy than the A. Langhe & Sohne Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”. It’s an ode to the haute horologist’s first watch, a design that epitomizes the brand. This one comes in a white gold case with blue steel hands and all the details and finishing you’d expect from Lange piece. It’s priced at $48,000 and limited to 250 pieces. And if you consider an A. Lange an everyday watch, power to you.
For more, visit A Lange’s website.